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It’s important that your car is thoroughly washed before
it for the winter.

Be sure to wash the underbody,  particularly from the wheel wells
to remove any traces of road salt, mud and road debris.

Dirt holds moisture, and the combination of moisture and air
causes iron and steel to rust.

Be careful if you use a high power pressure sprayer on the
underbody and frame.

Water pressure from the sprayer wand can force soap and water
through lubrication seals.
These seals are designed to hold
lubricant and are not able to
withstand high pressure spray.

It’s absolutely vital that your car is completely dry before it goes
into storage, as any moisture could cause rust when it’s left to
stand over the winter.

And be sure to protect and polish the chrome as well.
And protect the rubber areas of the car so they don’t crack
in the cold weather.

nce the car has air-dried, give it a good wax to protect your
car's finish.

Make sure to store your classic car in a locked garage.

And make sure the space is clean, dry and damp-free before
storing your car, as any moisture could cause corrosion or

Lay tarp on the floor of your garage under your car.

Concrete will wick moisture up and evaporate it under your car,
causing rust to form.
Put down 2 layers of the big blue tarps that you can buy at
or any home improvement store.

Or place a sheet of vapor barrier plastic under the car on the floor.

This also will prevent water vapor buildup in an unheated garage,
and also makes it very easy to spot fluid leaks when the car
is removed from storage.

Classic cars should be stored in a garage away from direct sunlight.
If possible, keep the car under a car cover.

You can cover it with a breathable water-resistant custom-fitted cover
or just a sheet.
A waterproof tarp or plastic cover would trap moisture and create
a perfect environment for rust.

This will provide the car protection from dust and dirt.

Place a piece of plastic wrap on the windshield under the wiper
blades, to prevent the rubber from sticking to the glass.

If your car will be exposed to freezing temperatures, make sure
that no personal items that may freeze or burst are left in
the car.


Lubricate all the spots that require grease, like suspension
wheel bearings, and hinges.

Lubricate the hood release latch, hood and door hinges to protect
them from moisture.

Keep oil and solvents off all rubber parts.

Spray grease on all linkages, cable levers and clevis pins on
the underbody of the car.

Apply silicone spray to door and window seals to keep them

To prevent rust, spray the whole underbody
with WD-40,
it will repel moisture.

Spark Plugs:

Remove the spark plugs and spray a small amount of oil into
the cylinders to prevent rusting, then insert the plugs again.

"Fogging oil" for storing boats, and will also work.

Use of a spark plug anti-seize lubricant on the threads is always
advisable, as to prevent the threads from sticking.
It will make disassembly easier, when it's time to change
the spark plugs.

Body Exterior and Chassis:

Look for scratches, rust spots, chrome plating, brass and or
Look at the paint in general, on the body, fenders and wheels.
Winter is a good time to make repairs.

Clean and polish the body and chrome.
Remove the dead bugs and other residue like mud and tar
Grease all the fittings just to be sure they will accept grease.


Over inflate your tires them by about 2-5 PSI to compensate for
air loss.

Don’t exceed the tire’s maximum air pressure, which is listed
on the side of the tire.

The tires should always be cleaned to remove dirt and brake dust
before winter car storage.

Tires may develop flat spots in as little as 30 days.

If you drive your classic car once a month or less, put the
transmission in neutral and roll the car a forward (or backward)
a foot or two.

Do this once about every 2 weeks will keep also keep your brake
calipers from developing problems.

Or to avoid this issue, raise the vehicle off the ground
and support it on jack stands.
This will take the pressure off the
tires and the suspension

Caution - Safety First!

Consult your owner's manual to find the proper locations for the
stands, this will prevent possible injury, since the car can fall off
the stands if not placed properly.

Jackstands will eventually sink into dirt floors, use plywood
squares under them.


Check the convertible top material, soft top, snaps, fastenings
and bindings.


Clean it thoroughly.
Get out those crumbs, spilled french fries, and just plain dust
and dirt.
Use a vacuum cleaner.
Don’t forget about mice and other animals like moths or ants who
may have made a home in your car.
Look everything over carefully.
Check door panels, window regulator handles, dashboard
(all the gauges working), steering wheel, controls, choke, spark,
throttle, floor mats, etc.

 Be sure to check interior fabric or leather and clean and protect
with a silicone conditioner.


Make sure that it’s clean.
Batteries can discharge due to moisture and dust across the top
between the terminals.
Clean the terminals and posts, replace and tighten them, then
coat them lightly with Vaseline.

Don’t coat the posts or the terminals before you re-assemble them,
as that can cause a poor connection which will result in a voltage
drop which causes poor starting and erratic charging.

Safety First!
Always use eye protection when working on a battery.
If you remove it, clean off the terminals with water and baking
soda, then rinse with distilled water.

Unhook the battery by removing the negative cable first and store it

There’s no way your battery will stay charged over the winter
here in the Midwest.

If a car battery loses its charge it may freeze, at which point
it becomes useless.

The battery should be stored indoors.

Another option is to hook your car battery up to a trickle charger
or battery maintainer.
Ensure the model you purchase has an auto shut-off feature
to prevent overcharging.


Change the oil and filter.
Older oil can contain contaminates that are acidic and can
harm internal engine components if left sitting.

Run the engine for a few minutes
to circulate the clean oil.


Top up all other fluids, such as coolant and brake fluid.

Use the proper mixture of coolant.
As brake fluid attracts moisture, fill the brake reservoir with
the correct type of fluid.

The smaller the surface exposed, the less likely the fluid will
become contaminated.


Be sure to test your anti-freeze concentration.
It’s a good idea to use some antifreeze, even in warm climates.
Most recommend a 50/50 mix with water.

To be safe, you should check the coolant’s strength to ensure
the water concentration level isn’t too high.
If it is, this can cause the car’s cylinder heads or engine block
to crack

At this time, it will never be easier to check and replace any hoses

and clamps.
Be sure to check your fan belts.
If your water pump has a grease fitting, grease it with water pump
grease, not regular chassis lube.
Clean all the bugs and other  stuff from your radiator.

Fuel System:

Fill the tank with premium grade that contains no ethanol.
Ethanol is notorious for damaging
gaskets and rubber parts in
fuel systems.
The tank should be full to limit moisture buildup.

To ensure that your engine components don't get damaged or
ed by gas deterioration, add a fuel stabilizer.

Just add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer and let it mix
thoroughly with the gas by running the car for approximately
10-15 minutes to move the mixture into the carburetor, fuel rails,
injectors, etc.

The fuller the tank, the less room there will be for air, which carries
moisture that can lead to fuel contamination and possibly
rust within the tank.

For Long Term Storage:

Drain the gas tank for long-term storage and make sure the
car is stored in a dry environment.
If gas has been in the tank for a year or longer, always dump it.

Also for long term storage, it is recommended that you
pour a small amount of engine oil or transmission fluid down
the carburetor to fully lubricate the valve train.

This will go a long way to preventing sticking valves when the
engine is started.

Baking Soda:

Condensation can ruin the interior of a car.
Place a few open boxes of Baking Soda in your car an trunk to
absorb both moisture and odors.
Baking Soda is also safe be used with the other products.

Leave a couple windows open slightly ajar to let fresh air circulate,
but not open enough for a critter to get in.
Fresh air is also important to help prevent mold.

Keep Critters Out:

Put steel wool or aluminum foil in the tailpipe tip, the air intake
at the air cleaner and any other external area an animal or
critter could use to gain entrance.

Put a plastic bag over the air cleaner/air inlet and tailpipe.
You also can cover these with aluminum foil and tape securely.

Tie brightly colored surveyors tape to the steel wool and fabric
sheets as a reminder to remove them
before restarting your car.

Use the fabric softener sheets around the exterior, placing
them on top of the tires and around the engine compartment.

Put fabric softener sheets on the floor boards and under the
seats, on the dashboard and under the rear window.
These sheets help repel the critters, and keep the interior
smelling fresh.

Mousetraps work well outside the car, but never put them
in your car.
The last thing you want to find is a dead mouse on your seat.

<<< CAUTION! >>>

If you are storing your car in your own house garage, remember
that pest poison traps, mouse traps especially the glue traps can
be hazardous to your pets.

Make sure you keep your pets away from them!

Or you can place packets of mothballs on the floor around and
under the car to discourage critters.

<< Important Reminder >>

Place a note to yourself on the steering wheel outlining which
steps above you carried out (steel wool, aluminum foil in
the tailpipe, in the
intake, carpets removed, battery removed,

Bringing your Car Out of Storage -

Once you uncover your car, inspect it for any signs of insect
or critter damage.

Check for proper inflation and unusual wear patterns, as well
an cuts and tears.
Fill all four tires to the correct air pressure when you take your
car out of storage.

Remove the baking soda boxes.
If you forget them, they may spill during driving.

Remove plastic bag, aluminum foil, and steel wool from over air
cleaner/air inlet and tailpipe.

Fluids Check:

The first thing to do is look underneath the car.
This will tell you if you have any leaking problems, such as
a hose, a seal, the radiator or a blown gasket.

If the car has been sitting in the garage for years, you
should drain all fluids and flush all systems before replacing
the fluids.

However, if the car has just been sitting in your garage over the
winter months, this isn’t normally necessary.
Instead, do an oil and filter change.
Flush the fuel lines, drain and flush the radiator and check levels
of all other fluids.

Checking the Battery:

A car that is being stored should have its battery disconnected
and shelved to protect it.

Make sure your battery terminals are clean and shiny, clean
with a wire brush, charge it up, and reinstall it.

Charge the battery for a good 24 hours.
When returning the battery to the car, attach the positive
cable first.

Before you Start your Car:

If your car hasn’t been started for over the Winter months, you
should take off the spark plugs and lubricate the cylinders.

If you haven’t removed your spark plugs before, label the plug
wires as you remove them, because they fire in specific order.

Be careful when you pull the wires, making sure that you grasp them
as close to the engine as possible.

Once your spark plugs are removed, turn your ignition key a few
times, this will enable the lubricant to lubricate the walls of
the cylinders.

Keep running the engine until your oil pressure shows as normal.
Then replace the spark plugs correctly.

Take off the engine’s air filter cover, and then spray engine starter
fluid through the carburetor mouth.
This will give you a good chance to start your engine, so now
it’s time to give it a go.

Before you drive out of the Garage:

When your car starts, just let the engine idle and slowly warm up.
Don’t rev up the engine.
While it’s running, put the air filter cover back on, and check for
leaks and the level of transmission fluid.

Now shut the engine off, and go back under the hood to check for
any hoses or belts that need tightening.

Replace if you see cracks or rot as necessary.
Also, lubricate the suspension.

 Before you drive off, make sure you have checked the brakes
Rotors, drums and friction linings should all be inspected, and
check wheel cylinders for corrosion.

While driving for the first time after being in storage, watch your
voltage and oil and coolant temperatures and take care when
braking as rust may have built up on the drums and rotors which
will add to your braking distance.

Don't forget to change the oil and filter before you drive off, or take
your car to your favorite shop and get an oil change as soon as you
take it out of storage, even if you did it before you put your car
in storage.

With all these things taken care of, you
should now be rea
dy to enjoy your
classic car


These tips are merely a
to help save you time and

Check with your mechanic for
advice or service.